The Bow Thruster Project - Part 11: Further Wiring and Upkeep

Another busy day at the boatyard working on Bandit.

First thing was to concentrate on getting the other parts of the bow thruster setup fitted in preparation for fitting the motor. I fitted the circuit breaker (although we're still waiting for parts to fit the red knob), fitted the inline fuse and ran some cabling between them. I began by securing the circuit breaker to the bulkhead. I drilled through the 1.5-inch thick bulkhead and used the disassembled breaker plate as a template. Easy enough and before long it was fitted. I did have to wait for the marina chandlery to open to get some super long 5mm bolts that would fit through the bulkhead and come out the other side. Next, I fitted the fuse on the inside bulkhead of the locker bin where the thruster is. It simply screwed on with two screws which ensures it can't move around. Next, I used some of the 40sqmm cable and cut it to the lengths I needed. I then went into the chandlery and added large battery cabling ring terminals to the ends of each bit of cable. I clamed them firmly to the cable using a special tool the boatyard own. I then took some shrink wrap tubing, cut it into lengths and heated them to the cable where the ring terminal and cabling meets. This ensures no loose wired are exposed and helps keep the thruster setup a bit more professional and secure. I took them back to the boat and fitted one from the circuit breaker to the fuse and the other one from the fuse to where the thruster motor will be located. Next, I ran the two cables (+ and -) from the locker bin containing the battery to the locker bin containing the thruster. I left both cables disconnected from the battery. I connected the positive wire to the other end of the circuit breaker and left the negative cable sat in the locker bin so it's all ready to be connected when we get the motor in.
The bow thruster setup thus far. Breaker and fuse fitted and wired in. The motor is not yet fitted by stood on the tunnel.

Secondly, I replaced the two rusty 'shell vents' on the transom which hides the entry hole for the Eltrim trim tabs cabling. The vents and screws were showing their age and a new set of vents and screws (all stainless steel) freshen it up a bit. Not that you're going to see it when she's in the water anyway, that said... All went well and I used loads of silicone sealant to ensure as little water as possible can find its way into the transom.
Tools and new vents
The old vent and rust stains
Cleaning up the transom, trying not to disturb the remaining sealant
New vent fitted and looks a lot cleaner

Lastly, I used our fantastic 'Grunt' boat cleaner bleach (but not bleach) to clean the transom and the underneath of the bathing platform. Due to the engine exhausting through the outdrives, this area gets very black from the exhaust soot. I applied the Grunt using a paint brush and left it for 30 minutes to work its magic. The transom and bathing platform came up fantastically after a quick rub with a soft brush.
A soot-free transom and bathing platform

I also had a good tidy up before I left the boat. It's amazing how much rubbish and tools get scattered around the boat after working on it for a couple of days. I'd like to think everything is back in its place and we can find everything when we come to need it again. I also reattached the anchor after cleaning the anchor 'cubby hole' in the bow from the other day.

Next big job is to drill the holes for the thruster motor in the tunnel and fit the motor! Then we can cross out fingers and test it.

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JOBS COMPLETED TODAY (21/12/16):
  1. Circuit breaker fitted
  2. Side Power in-line fuse fitted
  3. Cabling fitted from breaker to fuse to thruster motor
  4. Shell vents on transom replaced for Eltrim trim tab cabling that enters through the transom
  5. Grunt cleaner used on transom and bathing platform
  6. General tidy up of boat inside

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